Habeck fails at WEF meetings
Dear Germans, our Bundesrat is called Rösti!
Switzerland and Germany have not really made any progress on the gas agreement. That became clear on Monday at the WEF. The German economics minister couldn’t even remember the name of his new counterpart.
Published: 13 minutes ago
Robert Habeck, Guy Parmelin and Albert Rösti met in the House of Switzerland in the ice hockey stadium in Davos for an exchange.
Leah HartmannEditor Politics
The first public appearance by Environment Minister Albert Rösti (55) began with a faux pas – but not by him. The German Vice Chancellor and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (53) accidentally called his counterpart at a joint media conference “Colleague Röstli”.
Rösti didn’t show anything. He and Federal Council colleague Guy Parmelin (63) met Habeck at the WEF to talk mainly about the energy supply. Last year, there was an exchange between the economics ministers and Rösti’s predecessor, Simonetta Sommaruga (62), in Davos. At the time, the two countries announced that they would start negotiations on a gas solidarity agreement. This should take effect in an absolute emergency when the gas threatens to run out. Switzerland is very interested in this because it does not have any gas storage facilities itself.
“Don’t get your hopes up too much”
However, no real progress has been made since the announcement last May, as became clear on Monday. Habeck made it clear that there can only be an agreement that also includes Italy. Simply because of Switzerland’s geographical location. “I’m not giving you too much hope,” Rösti said when asked by a journalist about the negotiations. You have to talk to Italy now.
The Environment Minister showed understanding for Germany’s position. It’s about solidarity between the whole north and the whole south. In his view, there is no connection between the stalled negotiations on a gas agreement and the talks with the EU on a framework agreement, which are not progressing. Rather, the situation in terms of security of supply has changed since last year, the pressure is no longer the same, says Rösti.
Habeck also said: “Contrary to what was feared in the summer, we have a much more stable situation today than we had feared. That’s not a guarantee for anything, but it’s a silver lining.”
Clear text on arms exports
While the two federal councilors expressed themselves very cautiously and generally remained very vague in their statements, Habeck also spoke plainly about arms exports. Germany wants to give Ukraine ammunition for Gepard tanks that was produced in Switzerland. But Switzerland blocked the delivery with reference to the Swiss Arms Export Act.
Habeck said he would find it “fair and helpful if Switzerland reconsidered its position and delivered ammunition to Ukraine”.
The construction is in progress: Davos looks so different during the WEF(01:45)